Remember when I mentioned that I was attending Haven? A few weeks ago I flew to Atlanta to attend the conference. I flip houses in a man’s world, but flying to another state, attending a conference without knowing a soul is pretty daunting. But I’m so glad I did!
The conference was held at Grand Hyatt Buckhead. It was a gorgeous hotel with a great city view! Not long after checking in, I got the best surprise! A Haven swag bag, and let me tell you- the swag was GOOD! So many vendors were also at the conference, and they were very generous with their products!
The view of downtown Atlanta was great. We ventured out some for dinner, but since I was without a car, my touristy jaunts were limited to walking distance. I did love waking up each morning and seeing this view. I love a good cityscape!
The conference was 2.5 days of classes, events, meals, and mingling. Going in, I didn’t know a soul, but I met so many other wonderful bloggers. During the conference, the vendors introduced us to many new products, and we even got our feet wet trying them out!
One of the vendors that brought toys for us to try out was Dremel. Can you believe I have never used a Dremel? I think I need a few more lessons…
One vendor that I particularly enjoyed chatting with was DecoArt. Like me, you probably consider them for “craft paints,” but that’s what’s wonderful about Haven– you learn so much! I was plum giddy to hear they now have a curb appeal line of paints designed for doors & shutters. I brought home some fun, beachy colors to try out on future projects! The colors and glossy finish are way more affordable than a gallon of regular paint from Lowe’s. I’m absolutely loving the coral color!
DecoArt also hosted a painting class to try out some products, and I knew I definitely wanted to try out new stuff. They provided us with the wood USA cutouts and some of their Vintage Effect Wash. Since I love aqua, obviously it was a no-brainer that I chose that! Again, I hadn’t heard of the vintage wash until Haven. Rather than mixing regular paint and water together, the paint can be applied directly and wiped off as desired to create a wash effect without the hassle of mixing paint & water.
Each person’s project looked so different. Some applied different washes for different effects. I decided I wanted an ombre distressed effect. So I used my sander very liberally! I absolutely love how it turned out! They sent me home with more paint and another USA cutout to try out some more effects.
What I loved about Haven was being introduced to companies and products I had never heard of before, like Home Right. I was able to try out one of their paint sprayers on a pineapple project I was working on. I was finished in seconds. You know my previous encounter with paint sprayers was not good, and I think finding the right model and right fit is a key factor in that.
Another company I was introduced to was Crates and Pallet. And I quickly learned their name is deceiving! Yes, they carry crates. But I fell head over heels in love with their brackets! I mean just look at those…perfect for making your open shelving dreams come true! My design wheels immediately started spinning when I saw their booth. SO many creative projects I could tackle.
I spent my last day in a fun design session with one of the lead designers at Shaw Floors. First of all, I had no idea how much “research” went into their design process. I think they read every magazine, visit every museum, watch every fashion show to gather trends and inspiration. They’ve picked up on the cue of conservation and sustainability and trying to incorporate those natural elements into their designs. It was such a fun session of dialogue, tossing around thoughts on designs, and seeing some of their upcoming products.
My weekend at Haven was so tiring because I felt like I was on the go from sun up to sun down, but what a great weekend it was. I walked in not knowing a soul and left with new friends, new contacts, and new ideas. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. It really got my design juices flowing for ideas to incorporate not only in my own flips but for clients as well!
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was meeting Rhoda from Southern Hospitality. Long before I ever started blogging, I became a faithful reader of her blog. I loved how thrifty she was, but yet her home always looked magazine worthy. I resonated with her creativity and ingenuity. Rhoda is actually one of the creators of the Haven conference, so it was so fun to chat with her briefly.
But without a doubt, the best highlight from the trip was meeting Clint Harp from Fixer Upper and Harp Designs. Like me, I’m sure you’ve fallen in love with his salvaged, unique designs. He thinks outside of the box and creates cherished items that aren’t cookie cutter. I knew he was going to be at the conference, so I really had grand plans of bonding over house flipping, salvaged worked, designs, etc. And then I literally blanked. It was a serious case of fan-girling. I didn’t speak. I couldn’t speak. I kept thinking to myself “Jennifer, say something. SAY SOMETHING. SAY ANYTHING!” Nope. One of the 2 times in my life when my mouth wouldn’t work. So, my non-monumental meeting with him was probably so awkward, but at least I got a good photo out of it!
If my schedule allows, I’ll be attending Haven next year too. They have switched locations to one of my most favorite cities, Charleston, S.C. I can’t wait for the locale and the conference!